Recently, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gyneacologists updated its guidelines for pregnant women and alcohol, stating that abstinence is the only way to ensure that a baby is not harmed. Previously the group had claimed that a couple glasses of wine a week was acceptable.
In the U.S., health experts claim that there is no safe time to drink alcohol. Additionally, there has been no proven amount to be safe for pregnant women.
The RCOG claims that between conception and the first three months of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage may increase due to alcohol consumption, according to the BBC. Afterward, women were permitted to drink up to two units of alcohol a couple of times per week, until the guidelines were recently adjusted.
“For women planning a family, it is advisable not to drink during this time,” Philippa Marsden of RCOG told the news source. “Either partner drinking heavily can make it more difficult to conceive. During early pregnancy, the safest approach is to abstain from alcohol and after the first trimester keep within the recommended amounts if you do decide to have an alcohol drink.”
Alcohol and Your Baby
During pregnancy, American women are advised to avoid alcohol in its entirety due to complications that may arise, such as fetal alcohol syndrome. This condition occurs when a child is exposed to alcohol in the womb, and it can result in physical and mental damage.
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can also increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. A minimum of one drink per day can significantly increase the chances of a baby having low birth weight. In turn, he or she may develop issues with learning, speech, language, attention span and hyperactivity.
More than 10 percent of women are thought to drink during pregnancy in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 1 in 50 pregnant women binge drink.
Avoiding Alcoholic Beverages
It’s important to note that not all beverages that claim to be “nonalcoholic” are completely free of alcohol. In many instances, these drinks still contain some traces of alcohol, putting them on the list of items that should be avoided. Only beverages that are listed as “alcohol-free” are guaranteed to not contain it in any form.
If you have any questions pertaining to your alcohol intake before or after conception, you should always consult your practitioner. He or she will go over the risks with you and help you address any obstacles in the way pertaining to alcohol.
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